Things to Do in the UK This August Bank Holiday Weekend

Posted on 24 Aug 2016 by Anna Scott
It signals the end of the season for many of us, but how do you make the most of this last opportunity to celebrate summer? We’re very lucky because those clever people who organise events certainly don’t disappoint, and wherever you live, you’ll be bound to find something to do. For those wondering why we’ve omitted to mention Scotland in this guide, we haven’t forgotten about friends north of the border – Scotland has already had a Bank Holiday earlier in the month, because to all intents and purposes, summer is now over up there. Sorry Scotland.



Notting Hill CarnivalOur capital certainly isn’t short of things to any day of year, so it should come as no surprise to find out that it doesn’t disappoint during the August Bank Holiday weekend either. Of course we have to start with a mention of Europe’s largest street festival, Notting Hill Carnival and if you’re resident in London and still haven’t ticked this one off your list, perhaps 2016 is the year to do so.

If you’re on the other side of the city and like your wildlife, perhaps you’d like to pay a visit to the Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition taking place at the University of Greenwich? And as an added bonus, it’s free entry. There’s also the Festival of Love at South Bank which will feature lots of activities, installations and performances with a romantic and emotional theme to tie in with the Big Wedding Weekend, featuring some actual weddings.

And for foodies in south west London, there’s the Wimbledon Food Festival with delicious delights for all the family. For more information and ideas, Time Out and The Londonist have comprehensive listings for all capital bank holidays shenanigans and celebrations.



There’s plenty to do in Birmingham and beyond, but if you want to start in the city and prefer to stay indoors, how about the Insomnia58 Games Festival taking place at the NEC? Not only is it the UK’s biggest gaming festival but this year is also the first time it has run over 4 days, giving you ample opportunity to visit, and if you’re a fan of the newly rebooted Robot Wars series (or even the original) then you’ll be pleased to hear that the programme will have its very own arena there.

Elsewhere in the Midlands there’s the Camper Calling festival in Warwickshire, the Lichfield Food Festival in well, Lichfield, and the Dragon Boat Race on Edgbaston Lake, and for more information on events taking place in and around Birmingham, take a look at this local guide.



Chepstow CastleAs you would expect from a country that likes castles and sports, there’s a fair amount of castle and sports-related fun to be had in Wales this weekend, although none as of yet that combine the two (but do tell us if you know of something that fits this bill). For starters there’s the Castell Roc Festival taking place at Chepstow Castle featuring live open air music at the famous landmark and on the other side of the coin, there’s the World Bogsnorkelling Championships, held every year in Llanwrtyd Wells. For those of you wondering, this involves exactly what it says it involves – snorkelling in bogs.

If you’d rather steer clear of muddy waters, there’s the Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival that started on 22nd August but carries on through to the 28th finishing with a steampunk-themed weekend. For further information on various Welsh events, the Visit Wales site contains more listings.


The North

One of the largest celebrations taking place this weekend is Manchester Pride and this year’s bill includes Will Young, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Katy B. Outside of the city centre, you can enjoy the Bolton Food and Drink Festival featuring Masterchef’s John Torode and Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin, and there’s also the Cheshire Game and Country Fair at the Cheshire Showground near Knutsford. But to top it all off, you can pay a visit to Lancaster Castle and not just for historical purposes – this Bank Holiday weekend it’s home to the Harry Potter Outdoor Cinema, and who could resist a viewing of the Harry Potter films at a real life Hogwarts? There’s more information on what’s going on in Northern regions at Visit Cheshire, the Manchester Evening News site and Visit Lancashire.


More Ideas and Inspiration

Of course, you can always choose to make your own entertainment by taking a day trip to the seaside or the countryside with a picnic in your rucksack (weather permitting). Or if you want some opportunities to save on days out in the future, Virgin Experience Days discount codes are offering 15% off bookings right now, and Red Letter Days promo codes are giving customers £10 off a £50 spend until 28th August. Or for more family days out up and down the country, Little Bird discount vouchers contain plenty of ideas as well as excellent deals including 36% off Cadbury World overnight stays and 58% off tickets for the Spa Valley Railway.

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